WGXC-90.7 FM

On local culture, when it privatizes...

Feb 16, 2011 10:07 am
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Beacon Studios, previously known as Bulldog, is pegged for new development in a different, more aggressively market-oriented cultural direction"][/caption]Talk about another battleground we hadn't expected until these days of captured cash descended upon us... what's better for the region's culture, a publicly-financed use of an old high school building as studios for emerging artists, or private use of that same structure for galleries and high-end artist apartments geared towards that already selling in major international art markets? All of this talk has been triggered by news of the sale of the old Beacon High School building in Beacon, recently known as Bulldog Studios, for development into art gallery space with an emphasis on hot contemporary Chinese art imports and greater ties into the massive investment represented by Dia:Beacon. The building, which was owned by the Beacon City School District and rented as space for artist studios, is now owned by a private group of investors with investment ties into the Chinese art renaissance, with a vision for its use that includes apartments and "developing the city into an artist community." Unfortunately, that has meant finding new homes for dozens of artists, both from the region and commuting to Beacon from New York City, who had made the school their working home over the last decade. Talk about new quandaries.
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